Holiday Lights, City Lights
Chicago Architecture Foundation
See downtown Chicago's beautiful city lights at night and see the holiday lights on Michigan Avenue aboard a heated trolley. The tour includes two stops with views of the city and holiday lights. Learn how both people and nature impacted the development of the city and hear the stories of the architects, developers and leaders who played key roles in shaping the city.
For more information and tickets, click here.
Caroling at Cloud Gate
Every Friday until Dec 20, Millennium Park - Cloud Gate
Celebrate the holidays with a cherished tradition in Chicago. Hundreds of singers gather each week in the Park.
For dates and shows click here.
Until Dec 24, Daley Plaza
Visit the largest traditional Christmas market outside of Europe! Every year, the Daley Plaza is transformed into a holiday village complete with Santa’s house and candy cane striped booths. Vendors offer a wide range of products, from hand-crafted ornaments, toys and gifts, to traditional German food, sweets and beverages. More information here.
Lincoln Pak ZOO Winter Fun
Lincoln Park Zoo
Come see the beautiful and brilliant (and free!) winter lights at the Lincoln Park ZOO. And if you get tired of walking, rent ice-skates and have fun on the rink!
For more information about opening hours and directions click here.
Until Jan 12, Navy Pier
The 13th annual Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier has returned: come play inside 170,000 square feet offun, such as: Chicago Blackhawks indoor ice skating, rides including an indoor Ferris wheel, attractions and so much more.
For more information, opening hours and directions click here.
Ice Skating at the Midway or Millennium Park Ice Skating rinks
Every day until March
Ice skating is one of the best ways to have a lot of fun over the winter break, and beyond. Both The Midway and Millennium Park rinks rent skates, for $5-10.
For Midway opening hours click here.
For the Millennium Park opening hours click here.
Holidays 2013: Open Something Greater
Until Jan 8, Art Institute of Chicago
Passion, inspiration, creativity, wonder—these are just a few of the experiences you’ll discover in your Art Institute stocking this holiday season. Join the Art Institute to unwrap all the gifts the museum has for you in during the holiday season. Do not forget that with your UChicago student ID card, you have free access to the Art Institute.
For opening hours and more information click here.
The Holiday Season at Chicago Theaters
Pick your favorite and enjoy! From the beloved Christmas Carol, through the Very Merry Madrigal to the majestic, traditional Nutcracker, Chicago theaters offer annual holiday program for individuals or the whole families. Your UChicago student ID card entitles you to discounts at selected venues.
Darkness and Light at Smart
Thu, Dec 19, 5:30pm, Smart Museum of Art
Banish the darkness of winter with luminescent artworks by Bruce Nauman and Barbara T. Smith. Then create your own art using artificial lights like glow sticks and light bulb strands. All materials provided. Open to adults of all skill levels.
For more information click here.
Tropics in Chicago
Bask in a tropical climate and beautiful landscapes in the Garfield Park Conservatory or Lincoln Park Conservatory—both are free and easy to get to by public transportation.
There is, of course, much more. Explore the holiday guides on one of the Chicago's event websites: Metromix, ChooseChicago or TimeOut Chicago. But no matter what you end up doing, the OIA wishes you all very happy holidays!